Thursday, June 8

Posted by Laurel Garver on Thursday, June 08, 2017 8 comments
When I first started this blog in 2009, blog "awards" were all the rage. I think 2010-11 was a peak period, in which I received and passed along more than a dozen. By 2013 no one was doing them any more, and it made me a little sad. I can see how they might seem like public chain letters, but by golly they are fun. They give you something entertaining to blog about when all your creativity has gone into finishing a fantastic chapter the night before.

So I will not be joining the anti-blog-award brigade. Nope. I'll be having some fun. So here goes....

There are rules to this award, of course…
Rule 1: Put the award logo/image on your blog.

Rule 2: List the rules.

Rule 3: Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

Big thanks for the nomination to awesome A-Z Blogging challenge co-host J. Lenni Dorner, who I knew on Twitter for some time before becoming blog buddies.

Rule 4: Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
About the creator: Okoto Enigma’s blog 
The creator’s name, Enigma, means mystery, thus the title of the award.

Rule 5: Tell your readers three things about yourself.

1) I can identify nearly any early 1980s pop song within five measures or less. I was obsessed with America's Top 40 in my misspent youth. (I could have been memorizing Pi to the 400th decimal place or all the world capitals or something a little less frivolous). My husband sometimes makes me demonstrate my skill for guests.

2) I did props management and set decoration for about a dozen college productions, as well as for some community theatre shows. Once I'm an empty nester, I will likely take it up again. It is so much fun to build the material culture for a play.

3) I'm convinced that one of my childhood homes was haunted. We often heard movement in distant rooms, and one of the bedrooms had a distinct cold spot. I sensed the presence of our ghost more than once, particularly in the daytime when playing alone. My sense was that it was a young woman who'd perhaps died in childbirth and continued going about the business of taking care of her family, as if unaware she was dead.

Rule 6: Nominate other bloggers. (I'm going to cheat a little on this one. Twenty is a bit much).

Faith Hough
Jean Davis
Nick Wilford
Samantha Dunaway Bryant
Tyrean Martinson

Rule 7: Notify those people.

Rule 8: Ask your nominee any five questions of your choice, plus one weird or funny question.

The questions I have for my nominees are:
1) What are three things on your "bucket list"?
2) Which authors have influenced you in terms of genre, style, or theme?
3) What book's milieu (place, time, culture) would you most like to live in?
4) What are your favorite writing resources?
5) What's the best book you've read recently?
Fun/weird bonus:  Have you ever developed a "book crush" on a fictional character? Who and why?

I was asked
1) What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of a fictional book character you’ve read?

Anne Shirley's intense flights of fancy into imaginary worlds (Anne of Green Gables series). I didn't read the books until post-college and felt like L.M. Montgomery could have been writing my girlhood (minus the orphan thing, and living in the 1880s, obvs).

2) What most motivates you to buy a new book to read?

New printed books are a purchase I have to justify because of the space issue and the expense. I have to be convinced I will read it more than once, use it as a resource or model text, or will likely share it. A great sale might also convince me. I'm freer about picking up used books and ebooks--the former aren't as big an expense, the latter less a clutter creator.

3) How do YOU make an educated guess as to if a book by an author you haven’t read before will be “good” BEFORE you read any of it?

The description has to grab me. I can more quickly get past an ugly cover than this. And I never buy or download stuff--even freebies--without reading a sample. Because a great cover blurb of an interesting premise sometimes doesn't translate into style that draws me in. I'm a voice-driven writer and tend to be a voice-driven reader also.

4) What’s your favorite comfort food?

Mashed potatoes. My husband has a killer technique of boiling garlic cloves with the potatoes, then hand-mashing the cooked garlic into the cooked potatoes, along with sour cream, butter, and white pepper.

5) Where do you look for blogging inspiration?

My monthly critique group meetings often provide fodder, as does Twitter--sometimes a random post will catch my eye, sometimes a grammar or spelling error in a tweet will inspire an editing topic.

Weird/funny question: Do you have a celebrity encounter story you can share?

I am almost phobic about rubbing elbows with someone famous and doing something stupid, so I tend to go out of my way to avoid contact, even when given special access, like at comic conventions. So if there's a celebrity around, I will be trying to quietly creep away.

Rule 9: Share a link to my blog’s best post.
Rebel that I am, I'll share two. :-)

One of my analyses of Harry Potter characters continues to get the most hits. It's third in a series

What makes a villain? Part 3: Hero in Villain's Clothing

A newer post with nearly as many page views is this one on my revision process:

How I Do It: Identifying Story Weaknesses

Q4U: Do you miss the "good old days" of writing blogs (before 2012)? 
Answer any (or all) of my six questions listed under "rule 8."


  1. Thanks for playing along!
    Those mashed potatoes sound good. I just had red skin "smashed" potatoes last night.

    1. Those sound yummy too. My hubby has had his best results using Yukon Gold.

  2. Thanks so much, Laurel! I agree that awards can be great when you just need something different to blog about. :) I'm already having fun thinking about these questions!

    1. Glad to hear you're game for playing along. Let me know when you post!

  3. I like easy blog posts! I'll definitely play along once I get this book release taken care of. :) I used to get nominated for these all the time too. Funny how they totally died off.

    Those mashed potatoes sound awesome, btw. Thanks for the nomination!

    1. You are most welcome. I hoped it would make blogging while you're so busy a little easier. Have fun with it!

  4. Thanks for the nomination! I'll play along, for sure. I'd kind of forgotten about blog awards - like you I had a run of them a few years ago, then the craze died down. It's fun if you get to share weird info or read others'!

    1. Glad you're willing to join the fun (and sorry for the very belated reply. June has been hectic for me).